Emma raises concerns about Tory cuts leading to premature deaths in the lonely

March 23, 2016

Emma FCO head and shouldersIn Communities and Local Government Questions on Monday, Emma challenged the Minster from the despatch box over a recent report by Age UK which claims that 300,000 elderly people are suffering from chronic loneliness, which can lead to premature death

According to a recent review published in the Journal, ‘Perspectives on Psychology’, loneliness can increase the risk of premature death by 30%.

The shocking statistic echoes a new drive launched by the Local Government Association (LGA), urging local councils to recognise loneliness as a major public health concern, loneliness can add strain to already pressurised local services if it remains unaddressed.

Last month the LGA sent a Combatting Loneliness Guide to the 370 councils it represents, including South Tyneside highlighting the risks associated with loneliness. The publication cites research that finds over 1 million people aged over 65 are often or always lonely and the figure is growing.

Research also suggests that loneliness leads to high blood pressure and depression and can lead to causes of death comparable with those associated with smoking and alcohol consumption. One study found that the risk of Alzheimer ’s disease doubled in the chronically lonely.

You can read Emma’s Question and the Minister’s response here.

Speaking afterwards Emma said:

“The impact of loneliness is heartbreaking and costly. The Minister knows too well that the 2% precept will not even come close to closing the funding black hole in social care, he also knows that the Better Care Fund will not be available until 2019/2020. Our elderly deserve so much better than this cruel government’’.




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